channels in the winter

Discussion in 'Channel Catfish' started by Scott Daw, Jan 3, 2008.

  1. Scott Daw

    Scott Daw New Member

    Messages:
    2,002
    State:
    Allentown, Pennsylvania
    Ok for you northern Channel catfish hunters, what do you use & where do look for the channels to be this late in the year? i.e... bridge pilings...rock humps....
     
  2. Ketch

    Ketch New Member

    Messages:
    469
    State:
    Minnesota
    The keys for me fishing channels through the ice is smaller baits and slower presentation. I primarily fish with jigs in the winter, even for channels.

    Location is just like in the summer, everyone claims something else. Here is what I do. I look for holes (might only be a foot deep, connected to deep water close to but not directly in the current. As always, watch out for ice conditions near the current.

    On lakes around here, some lakes have 20" or more of ice, yet there is still open water on some of the rivers.

    I am fishing a tourney/gathering of ice fishing cats guys come february, I'll let you know.
     

  3. Catcaller

    Catcaller New Member

    Messages:
    1,511
    State:
    SoutheastKansas
    Ice fishing for Channel is something I've been studying of late.

    Sounds very interesting...although the problem here (As you probably already know) is the quantity of safe ice we get...or don't get is the more accurate term.

    Let us know how that turns out for ya. Have you been going out much?
     
  4. Scott Daw

    Scott Daw New Member

    Messages:
    2,002
    State:
    Allentown, Pennsylvania
    I havent been out catfishing since deer season started. But since we dont get alot of safe Ice my way, I was going to try open water fishing like I do in the summer from shore. Theres a particular bridge I dont get to fish in the summer because theres some people that always gets there before I do. The shoreline there is close to the original creek channel. I thought of fishing it from shore or setting up a chair and fish right off the bridge.
     
  5. Ketch

    Ketch New Member

    Messages:
    469
    State:
    Minnesota
    I haven't been out a lot yet. I am a very cautious person fishing on the ice. No need to take chances.

    Up where I fish on the ice, we've got very stable ice (20'+) and they are already running snowplows out there to make roads for anglers. I probably won't be up there again until later this month if I go out before the get together. I'll definitely be taking pictures, and will be posting some when I get them. I'll keep you guys posted.

    One thing I didn't mention about what I do when ice fishing for cats. Bait selection: minnows, cut baits, occasionally leeches. Cut bait continues to outperform in my experience, but use smaller pieces than you might during open water fishing. I generally use about 1" square bait tops.

    Also, after rereading my first post, it kinda seemed like I was saying they were only on the bottom. Not true, often I catch them in areas up to about 2-3 ft under the ice (somewhere above the bottom structure).

    Also, words to the wise, make sure you drill a big enough hole.
     
  6. justwannano

    justwannano Active Member

    Messages:
    1,003
    State:
    SE Iowa
    Do you guys use a fish finder to spot the cats?
     
  7. Ketch

    Ketch New Member

    Messages:
    469
    State:
    Minnesota
    Yes, I do. I still use my old greenbox for that. I guess I'll keep using it until they actually make a depth finder that will tell you which ones are biting..
     
  8. dookiechrist

    dookiechrist New Member

    Messages:
    94
    State:
    utah
    i have been studyin a bit of cat icefishing lately as well. i plan on going very soon. i plan to use minnows (frozen),shrimp, cutbait, and or crawlers, with some of my larger jigs ie: 1/4 oz. will let you know how i do
     
  9. Blacky

    Blacky New Member

    Messages:
    10,351
    State:
    Philadelphia, P
    I figure some kind of old/frozen shad would be good because channels would be feeding on winterkill shad that is like dead for days and rotten.

    Be careful Catcaller, safety is #1 priority.
     
  10. katkiller77

    katkiller77 New Member

    Messages:
    1,549
    State:
    dayton ohio
    low dams are very good water ice free and the bait tend to school near them because of the oxygen not only channel catfish but also sauger, walleye and saugeye are prevalent and also warm water discharges from the power plants great place for them good luck.
     
  11. Catcaller

    Catcaller New Member

    Messages:
    1,511
    State:
    SoutheastKansas
    I'll be taking the safest of ice fishing routes...I doubt if I do it. (Not this year at least)

    We've been in the ice box for a few days now. Temps down to single digits at night...with a steady wind.

    Today the temp is supposed to be 58...69 tomorrow...and flippin' 70 - 75 degrees on Sunday...with a low of 58!

    I know exactly where I'm headed. There's a pit that has some shallow water mud flats with a bunch of standing timber, stumps, and brushpiles in the mix.

    My wife and I tore the channel and largemouth up year before last on carolina rigged large shiners right next to cover...during a brief warming trend in winter.

    Hoping for a repeat this weekend. I'll keep yall' posted.
     
  12. flathunter

    flathunter New Member

    Messages:
    5,723
    State:
    Ohio
    If I am gonna go fishing for channels in the winter I try to pick a warmer and sunny day..I have found them in shallow water close to deep holes in the river I fish, just a couple of degrees warm up in a shallow spot will bring them in.